Dehradun: Rebutting BJP's charges of "slipshod arrangements" during Nanda Devi Raaj Jaat yatra, Chief Minister Harish Rawat has said "baseless" allegations like these could do irreparable harm to Uttarakhand's tourism which was hit severely by last year's natural calamity.
Alleging poor arrangements during the yatra, Almora MP Ajay Tamta had recently demanded a white paper on the huge funds spent over conducting the pilgrimage.
"Shri Nanda Devi Raaj Jaat yatra was conducted successfully despite all odds and the message of a safe Uttarakhand has already reached people outside the state.
"However, baseless charges like these by Tamta and his friends may harm tourism prospects of the state which we are trying hard to revive," Rawat said in a statement issued from Delhi.
Terming the yatra as important for tourism which was the mainstay of the state's economy, he said opposition leaders should act more responsibly.
"The yatra was conducted in challenging weather conditions and its successful completion is a matter of pride. People are feeling safe after the yatra to come to Uttarakhand," he said.
Asking Tamta and others to avoid making such statements which?harm the image of the state, Rawat said they should help the government in working for the benefit of the state.
Former Chief Minister and BJP MP from Haridwar Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank had levelled similar allegations against the government at a press conference here recently.
"In the year 2000, only two to three thousand people could be a part of the yatra and over 2 dozen persons had died. Compared to that, the yatra this year was smooth despite all odds and drew unprecedented crowds with over 50,000 people participating in the pilgrimage," Rawat said.